“Transgender” Now an Official Sex in Nepal

The Nepalese government just announced that when counting begins in May, the country’s census will include a category for people who identify as “transgender.” This is an extremely progressive move (the United States is among the many countries that do not allow for self-identification outside the binary categories of “male” and “female”).

It’s also surprising, because Nepal remains a conservative country. Their government, however, has been quite forward-thinking in terms of gay rights. In 2007, the Nepalese Supreme Court ordered the government to throw out laws that discriminated against people because of sexual orientation.  People could previously be jailed for up to a year for “unnatural sex acts.”  According to officials, the court’s ruling prompted the new census decision.

Sunil Babu Panta, Nepal’s first openly gay parliamentarian, lauded the decision.

“This shows that the government has started to recognise them. I hope this will help to ensure their rights,” he said, quoted in an AFP article.  “But challenges remain for the community as they have often been forced to leave their villages and taken refuge in cities due to discrimination.”

I’m sure that it’s just as challenging (if not more so) to identify as transgender in Nepal, but it’s heartening to see that the government is so committed to recognizing and protecting LGBT civil rights. According to the AFP article, India will also be including “transgender” as a category in their 2011 census, although I couldn’t find an article confirming this.  All of this is making the United States look pretty backwards – but could it push us toward more inclusive gender categories in the 2020 census?

Photo from Flickr.

65 comments

ruth a.
ruth a8 years ago

Klaus P. Congrats on being devoted to your wife and being 'normal' (uhhh, define 'normal' please).

I am also devoted to my wife, so I am normal too but still require the protection of Nepal's new ruling.

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Norma V.
Norma Villarreal8 years ago

we so categorize everything...If 'male, female, transgender, or human' work for the country's sensus, so be it.

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Klaus P.
Klaus Peters8 years ago

I am straight and normal and devoted to my wife, never had any other thoughts in my head or d...
Nepal is going backwards.

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Samantha B.
Samantha B8 years ago

If only the whole world would recognize.

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Philippa P.
Philippa P8 years ago

So progressive of Nepal.

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Alicia N.
Alicia N8 years ago

Good for Nepal !!!

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Catalina D.
Catalina D8 years ago

Cheers for Nepal!!! this are good news! open minded people there are making an efford to set things better in the future!

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Marilyn L.
Marilyn L8 years ago

Good for Nepal.

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mrs v.
valerie murphy8 years ago

Well done, let people be what they are.Brusing things under the carpet never works.

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Barbara Erdman
Barbara Erdman8 years ago

Noted...

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